13 Dec 2022
As temperatures heat up in the Christmas lead-up, academics from the University of the Sunshine Coast are on hand with the latest research and evidence-based opinions for hot news topics.
Beach erosion, cyclones and surfing; exercising with chronic conditions; summer creatures that fly, jump and crawl; diet; Christmas gifts and technology; preventing COVID and other infections; staying healthy while ageing, the magic of Santa; festive traditions; bushfire management; pop culture and history; shopping apps and online security; mental health; disease nasties; holiday attractions and souvenirs; summer sports history; sustainable tourism; preparing high school grads for university; New Year’s resolutions; financial budgeting; value of nature and conserving environment; child brain changes; screen time; rising sea temperatures and climate change; consumer behaviour; child health and holiday fun; turtles and marine animals; social media trends; the powers of seaweed; baby care; music entertainment; living sustainably; our island neighbours and ancient mysteries.
UniSC experts include:
Animal ecology / birds, frogs, bats
Dr Dominique Potvin, UniSC Moreton Bay
Many people enjoying the beach, bush or backyard this summer will come into contact with Australia’s flying or jumping creatures. How is human activity such as noise and urbanisation affecting birds, frogs, bats and other vertebrates?
Animal ecology / marine science
Associate Professor Kathy Townsend, UniSC Fraser Coast
Summer holidays focus attention on our magnificent coastline. How will sea turtles, manta rays and dugong faring at this time of year? What can people do to reduce human impacts on the marine environment and support conservation of vulnerable species?
Dr Kate Mounsey, UniSC Sunshine Coast
Tropical weather brings out tropical nasties such as ticks for dogs and scabies mites for humans and other mammals. What to look for, how to treat or prevent. Immunology, medical and veterinary parasitology, controlling infectious tropical diseases.
Brain science / Youth mental health
Professor Jim Lagopoulos, UniSC Thompson Institute
Professor Daniel Hermens, UniSC Thompson Institute
What is neuroimaging revealing about brain health? How might the findings translate into real-world treatments for suicide prevention, youth mental health, healthy brain ageing, post-traumatic stress disorder?
Professor David Schoeman, UniSC Sunshine Coast (pictured above at Mooloolaba)
As tourists head to the beach to cool off, what’s going on beneath the surface as climate change continues? Ecological consequences, from very local to global. Impacts on marine life and marine conservation.
Dr Erica Mealy, UniSC Moreton Bay and UniSC Sunshine Coast
Will we be exchanging wearable technology for Christmas gifts this year? What are the latest gadgets on people’s wish lists? Are our tech-based gadgets spying on us? What’s coming up in AI (Artificial Intelligence), machine learning, cyber security, data privacy.
Dr Lachlan Goold, UniSC Sunshine Coast
Lighter side – how the entertainment industry is shaping up for 2023, what's happening in music, festivals over summer. Music as a hobby or profession.
Cyber intelligence / cybersecurity
Dr Dennis Desmond, UniSC Sunshine Coast
What are those shopping apps collecting? Who’s tracking you and how do you avoid giving away information? How to avoid online scams, identity theft and fraud and other cybercrimes this silly season. Also, cryptocurrencies, the darknet, and Intelligence Defence technologies.
Diet / Sports nutrition
Dr Hattie Wright, UniSC Sunshine Coast
Christmas doesn’t have to be a time of feasting and overindulgence. Slight changes in dietary intake can have large effects on overall health. Also women’s health, role of diet and exercise to manage chronic conditions and musculoskeletal health, eating for ageing well.
Dr Alison Willis, UniSC Sunshine Coast
As teachers take a well-deserved break, what are schools and universities planning for 2023? And how can parents guide their high school graduates over summer to get them ready for the rewards and challenges of higher education and career paths?
Dr Ali Black, UniSC Sunshine Coast
Things to do with children over the holidays. Why relaxation is important for young children and teenagers. Why having a break is important for everyone in the family. The value of being outdoors and in nature.
Education / Child development
Associate Professor Mike Nagel, UniSC Sunshine Coast
With school-aged children at home over the festive break, parents have more time to find out what’s going on in their brains. Tips for helping kids spend their ‘downtime’ in ways that benefit neurological development. And why excessive screen time is not the answer to boredom.
Dr Ipek Kurtboke, UniSC Sunshine Coast
Public health around COVID and during the ‘silly season’. Have we slipped back into our old ways? How can improved public understanding of microbiology lead to COVID-safe environments? How can pathogens spread at social functions?
Exercising despite disease
Dr Meegan Walker, UniSC Sunshine Coast
How can people with chronic diseases stay fit over the holidays? How exercise can help manage diseases. Occupational rehabilitation. Cardiovascular adaptations to exercise.
Finance and economics
Dr Hammad Siddiqi, UniSC Moreton Bay, UniSC Sunshine Coast
Professor Sajid Anwar, UniSC Sunshine Coast
Good financial practice during the Christmas holidays, commonly known as a season of excess. Cost of living. Affordability.
Professor Patrick Nunn, UniSC Sunshine Coast
As our neighbouring Pacific Islands welcome tourists over the summer season, how are these nations impacted by climate change? How are they adapting to rising sea levels? Geography, history. Also why controversial Netflix program ‘Ancient Apocalypse’ is dangerous nonsense.
Associate Professor Sanjeev Srivastava, UniSC Sunshine Coast
Bushfire occurrence; fire management; identification, prediction and evaluation of fire-prone areas; link between environmental sustainability and hazard reduction.
Healthy ageing / Clinical exercise physiology
Associate Professor Chris Askew, UniSC Sunshine Coast
Exercise for the management of chronic conditions, such as cardiovascular disease. What about the Revitive “Circulation Booster” – does it really work and is it helpful for people with leg pain? How to take positive steps towards healthy ageing. It’s never too early or too late to make lifestyle changes as we get older.
Healthy ageing / Exercise rehabilitation, mental health
Dr Daniel Wadsworth, UniSC Sunshine Coast
Accessible exercise for health and wellbeing in ageing populations, how to prevent falls in the frail elderly, exercise rehabilitation.
Dr Amy Clarke, UniSC Moreton Bay
Christmas traditions, souvenirs, “Big Things” – the Big Pineapple, the Giant Prawn and other giant attractions that might be included in an Aussie holiday road trip. Kitsch pop culture, architectural heritage, British nationalism.
Insect ecology / entomology
Dr Andy Howe, UniSC Sunshine Coast
Hot weather brings out the creepy crawlies. Insect-plant interactions, insect pests and biocontrol in forestry, invasive species, urban green infrastructure to support biodiversity, human-nature interactions.
Dr Alexandra Campbell, UniSC Sunshine Coast
Human health and wellbeing are linked to marine ecosystems. How can adults and children make the most of this during their leisure time? And can we save the world with seaweeds?
Nursing / Infection prevention
Matthew Mason, UniSC Sunshine Coast
As people gather for Christmas parties, travel, and holidays with extended family and friends, what are the latest preventative measures for infectious diseases such as COVID? Tips for managing minor illness and accidents.
Nutrition / diet
Professor Fiona Pelly, UniSC Sunshine Coast
Nutritious eating over the festive season for every age, whether you’re inactive, active or an elite athlete. Nutrient requirements in diets, what determines food choices, diet quality, eating behaviours.
Dr Javier Leon, UniSC Sunshine Coast
Coastal and beach erosion. Cyclones and their impact. The science of surfing.
Dr Rachael Sharman, UniSC Sunshine Coast
How does the magic of Santa light up children’s brains as they anticipate the big visit on Christmas Eve? (View last year’s feature). What are some strategies to support your mental health over the holidays? Coping with disruption or stress associated with family dynamics, work/home balance, COVID impacts, Christmas anxiety, parenting issues, loneliness, grief.
Dr Prudence Millear, UniSC Sunshine Coast
Developmental psychology as people age. Treechanges and seachanges, experiences of shift workers over the holidays, working from home, optimism.
Dr Karen Sutherland, UniSC Sunshine Coast
Trends in social media as we move into 2023. Links between employment and social media.
Kate Kirby, UniSC Sunshine Coast
Playing it or watching it, summer sport is on the agenda, especially around Christmas and Boxing Day. The history of sporting celebrations at regional, state and national level. The Olympics, Paralympics and Commonwealth Games, high performance athletes.
Professor Claudia Baldwin, UniSC Sunshine Coast
Ways that coastal communities can adapt to climate change. Disaster management. Urban planning and design. How can we make our lives more sustainable in 2023?
Tourism, leisure and events
Dr Vikki Schaffer, UniSC Sunshine Coast
Dr Aaron Tham, UniSC Moreton Bay
Sustainable tourism during peak holiday season. Destination branding and marketing. Citizen science, beaches, turtles.
Download high resolution images of UniSC experts.
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